The rebel province, where tensions have been escalating since a shootout last week, has accused Georgia of planning an all-out military invasion, and says Tbilisi has been boosting its military presence on the border in recent days. (VIDEO)
Four Georgian military officers were released Tuesday after being detained earlier in the day in the conflict zone. South Ossetia accused them of being on a reconnaissance mission while Georgia said they were returning from visiting friends.
The breakaway republic's foreign minister, Murat Dzioyev, wrote in a letter to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe that responsibility for any bloodshed "will be shared by the leaders of the current Tbilisi regime, its patrons, and international forces that could have put pressure on Georgia and prevented a military scenario developing, but failed to do so."
The international community must have objective information on the situation in the conflict zone and resume talks with Georgia to avoid "catastrophic consequences" for the provincial capital, Tskhinvali, and the surrounding area, the minister said.
The minister stressed that South Ossetia is seeking an "exclusively peaceful route" to resolving differences, and is ready for civilized dialogue with Georgia.